You’ve been sticking to your exercise program and working out every week. Have you ever experienced those days when your endurance isn’t what it has been on previous days? Feel like you can’t give it your all in your workout? It may be what you are or are not eating. Here are some eating tips to help you improve your workout.
When you exercise your muscle burns a type of carbohydrate called glycogen for fuel. To keep these important fuel levels optimal for peak performance, you need to eat adequate carbohydrates, and other complex-carbohydrate foods. Go for the whole grains such as 100% whole grain breads, brown rice, quinoa, or millet. Limit the ‘white’ refined products.
Yes it is true, active people need more protein than people who live a sedentary lifestyle. It is especially important after your workout to repair muscle damage. Include lean meats, fish, soy, and eggs. Make sure the meal you have after your workout contains a significant protein source to assist in muscle building and tissue repair.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!
When you exercise, you breathe harder taking in more oxygen. While exercise is good for your health it also can bring on inflammation and soreness. Eating healthful amounts of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can help decrease these symptoms. Eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day.
Drink, Drink, Drink
The more you exercise, the more you sweat. Replacing these fluids is vital for peak performance and endurance. You will definitely feel fatigued if you don’t drink enough. During long workouts make sure to have a water bottle with you. Drink at least 8 eight-ounce servings of fluids/day and more for endurance athletes.
Fueling Before a Workout
This step alone will not only lengthen your workout but it will also increase your performance which is important when training for an event. If you don’t eat before exercise you will likely feel light-headedness, fatigue, and nausea. In addition, your body turns to muscle protein for fuel because it doesn’t have enough carbohydrate. By starting your workout well-fueled, your body will burn a combination of the carbohydrate stored in your muscles and stored fat. Eat 2-4 hours before a workout or event. Choose complex carbohydrate such as whole grains, low fat, moderate protein meal or snack. Drink at least 1 cup of water to help offset sweat loss during your workout.
Fueling After a Workout
It is important to consume calories and fluids during the first half hour after you exercise for optimal recovery. This will allow you to build up your glycogen stores so they are ready to go the next day. If you aren’t hungry right away a quick snack including protein and carbohydrate rich foods. Don’t forget to eat a meal later with protein to repair muscle damage.